This chapter discusses the ways in which historians of the Holocaust have dealt with the concept of space. It operates on two distinct registers: first, that of ‘actual space’, that is, the geographical or territorial dimensions of the Holocaust and, second, the notion of ‘imagined space’ or figurative uses of space, in, for example, propaganda or ideological metaphors. The first use of spatial concepts is familiar to historians through Nazi terms such as Lebensraum, Grossraumwirtschaft or Generalplan Ost, all of which denote geographical ways of thinking. Historians are also familiar with the Nazis’ debt to the tradition of Geopolitik, the notion that the fate of peoples is bound up with their territorial belonging. But ‘space’, as the Nazi terms just cited indicate, is also a figurative concept, bound up with the imagination. In the case of the Nazi imagination, historians, especially cultural historians who seek to show how actors in the past created meaning for themselves, can show how figurative uses of space were key to the fantasies that drove the Holocaust.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.